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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vargeisa Lv 4VIII (HjǪ 9)

Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 9 (Vargeisa/Álfsól, Lausavísur 4)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 501.


text and translation

Vertu ei svá ærr, maðr,         at þú Ölvi grandir;
vertu honum heill, hilmir;         hann er þér hollr, fylkir.
Láttu eigi illmæli         æða lund þína;
vel þér vini tryggva;         vertu þeim hollr, dróttinn.

Vertu ei svá ærr, maðr, at þú grandir Ölvi; vertu honum heill, hilmir; hann er þér hollr, fylkir. Láttu eigi illmæli æða lund þína; vel þér tryggva vini; vertu þeim hollr, dróttinn.
‘Do not be so furious, man, that you injure Ǫlvir; be true to him, ruler; he is loyal to you, king. Do not let slander enrage your temperament; choose for yourself trustworthy friends; be loyal to them, lord.

notes and context

Predictive of the next episode of the saga, in which Hjálmþér will display brief and inexplicable anger towards his comrade, even threatening his life, Vargeisa warns the hero not to harm Ǫlvir.

The stanza is full of gnomic wise advice that Vargeisa offers Hjálmþér in his role as a leader of men; cf. Hávm 44 and Anon Hsv 49, 50, 52, 60 and 74VII. — [1-2]: Cf. HHund II 51/1-2 (NK 161), Verðu eigi svá œr, | at ein farir ‘Do not be so mad as to go alone’.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 16. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hjálmþérs saga ok Ǫlvis II 7: AII, 334-5, BII, 355, Skald II, 192; HjǪ 1720, 30, FSN 3, 476, FSGJ 4, 201, HjǪ 1970, 26, 84, 140.


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